Over the past 25 years, more than 950 children have died of heatstroke, because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. It’s important for everyone to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke and that all hot car deaths are preventable.
Know the Facts
- A child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's. When a child is left in a vehicle, that child's temperature can rise quickly — and the situation can quickly become dangerous.
- Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.
- A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
- In 2022, 33 children died of heatstroke in vehicles.
- In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths — 53 children died each year — the most in at least 25 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org.
Everyone Can Help Prevent Hot Car Deaths
Parents and Caregivers
1. Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended for any length of time. Rolling windows down or parking in the shade does little to change the interior temperature of the vehicle.
2. Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — especially the back seat — before locking the doors and walking away.
3. Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
4. Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger's seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
5. Store car keys out of a child's reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.
Everyone — Including Bystanders
Secure Your Car
Always lock your car doors, year-round, so children can’t get into unattended vehicles.
Act Fast. Save a Life.
If you see a child alone in a locked car, act immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.